As the senior consultant, and subsequently project director, I have worked with the Met Office over the course of a two-year partnership to understand their users’ needs and design solutions to improve their core digital products.

Note: this article focuses on the Discovery research conducted at the beginning of the two-year engagement. I will be writing about the Alpha and Beta projects separately.

Despite being a public body, the Met Office have to compete with a range of other organisations, including the BBC, Accuweather and Weather Channel to deliver the most accurate, up to date forecasts. Whilst their first and most important objective is to inform and protect the public, government and UK industry from the impacts of our weather, their digital products also have to perform to generate income through advertising. By better understanding and designing for their users, we were tasked with increasing engagement, traffic and retention across the Met Office website.

Role: Senior UX Consultant / Project Director

What I did

  • Delivered a 10 week Discovery project that included:
    • Stakeholder interviews and workshops; to understand the organisations requirements, previous research and strategic objectives
    • Competitor analysis of both the big players and smaller niche apps providing weather information in unique ways
    • Online outreach; gathering initial behaviour patterns from forums to contact members of the general public who are particularly impacted by the weather; including gardeners, individuals with health conditions such as asthma, and parents with young children
    • Explorative interviews and testing with over 30 individuals, recruited from a range of ‘segments’ of the general public. These took place across the UK to cover a range of micro-climates which may have impacted behaviours.

What I delivered

Para goes here…

  • Analysis and reporting of the data generated by the above activities consisting of:
    • A written report describing user needs, their relationship to the user epics created, and the potential design opportunities they provided for the Met Office website or app

In addition to the aforementioned report, I created a series of personas and user epics to represent the findings in a more actionable format.

Results/outcomes

Following the delivery of the Discovery findings and recommendations, we moved into an Alpha phase to explore and validate how to most effectively meet our identified user needs.

As a public body, we were required to present our methodology and findings to GDS to demonstrate our understanding of Met Office users. During this presentation, the GDS assessor complimented the quality of the personas, going so far as to ask if he could use them as a best practice example across BEIS.